Yesterday, I Tasted Freedom

So yesterday we went to a birthday party. We’ve all been there. We pack everything up and just pray that our kids cooperate. Theres always the risk of either child turning into a stage 5 clinger and permanently attaching themselves to your leg or the more expensive risk of them disappearing and getting very quiet which can only mean one thing.  Something has been broken or stained…. Then there’s the normal diapers, potty trips, food plates, treat plates, snack plates, face wipes, “did he just touch that with frosting on his hands!?” stuff.

Arrr I'm a stinker!
Arrr I’m a stinker!

Thankfully! None of that bad stuff happened yesterday. Yesterday, I had two independent kids who played well with others (Aside from a minor vacuum incident… Sorry AJ!). Yesterday, I had two kids who ate cleanly and for 99% of party, stayed off my leg! Yesterday, I tasted freedom.

The new coolest band in town
The new coolest band in town

We’ve known that two was our limit for a long time when it came to our family planning. Two is a nice round number that doesn’t leave us out numbered and understaffed. As Hudson is getting older, I finally see what life is going to be like. The kids will play in the other room for longer periods of time without crying for a parent. They are finally at the age where, at a party, we can lead them to the playroom and go have an adult conversation in the kitchen! It’s a wild new world that I am so excited to know.

Lucy or My Little Pony?
Lucy or My Little Pony?

Don’t wish time away… blah blah blah… When you are a parent of a small child you are allowed to wish time away while simultaneously enjoying your baby. Us parents are great multi-taskers.

So this birthday party was really great. The kids had fun, we had fun, the birthday girl got lots of presents; It was a magical evening.

Chilly boredom

So Friends is on Netflix now! That’s like the greatest thing since Nsync announced their reunion tour! Yeah, forgot about that one didn’t ya!? I love Friends! I feel like they are my friends. Life is good. I suppose that is my little bit of Paradise for today! 🙂

Has anyone else gone outside to get the mail this week and legitimately thought your nose was going to chip off your face? Holy crap it is cold out there! Thank God for the new toys from Christmas! The kids are going crazy. We’ve kept things interesting with blanket forts in the living room, Wax paper ice skating on the carpet (Thank you to Lucy’s pre school teachers for this awesomely fun activity!), making paper snow flakes, and lots of coloring. I also put up a tent on Lucy’s bed. It’s from when I was a kid. It slips over the mattress like a fitted sheet. She is in LOVE with her bed tent. Lucy is a kid who loves to be cozy more than anything so making a cozy, closed off space for her to sleep in was right up her ally.

Camping out at Fort Lucy
Camping out at Fort Lucy

Also on the agenda has been laundry. Like a lot of laundry. Maybe if it wasn’t so freaking cold we wouldn’t have an entire weeks worth of laundry after one day of layering up. Brr!

Well this has been a super random post but thanks for hanging with me. Oh, one more thing! If you’re in the market for a fun train set or anything else that Kidkraft makes, they are having a pretty good sale on Amazon right now. Click this –>KidKraft Sale

Here is a cute picture of Hudson with my Laundry waiting in the background:

Cutie pie
Cutie pie

Mahalo!

Good deal alert!

Hey everybody! I was just looking at one of my favorite spots to find good deals, Slickdeals.net, and I found a great one! A Jawbone UP band for $30! I’ve been wearing one recently and it has been really eye opening to see my activity and sleep patterns every day. If you are trying to set new activity or even sleep goals for 2015, this is a great way to keep track of it all. Check it out!

Photo Booth is too fun. Im a comic strip!
Photo Booth is too fun. Im a comic strip!

Click that link below. Yes it’s a safe link.  It’s just Best Buy.

Jawbone UP band (<— yup, that link)

***EDIT***

It seems that the UP bands I linked to sold out pretty quickly. If you are interested in purchasing a wrist band, Amazon has a huge selection that you can find here: Wearable activity trackers(<— Click that).

Enjoy!

The break

Christmas with kids is always a little crazy.  You are either packing them up over and over again to visit multiple family locations or you are hosting Christmas and inviting everyone, along with their Santa sacks full of toys, into your home. Either way it’s madness. Fun, but seriously, madness.

This time of year makes us miss Hawaii a lot. Not for the sunny warm days or trees that still hold their foliage. We miss it for the sweet un-chaotic nature of that time. We really missed our family but we had such a wonderful time on that island over the holidays. We spent Christmas Eve morning on a whale watching tour. Then finished the day with dinner at a restaurant that overlooked the ocean and Waikiki Beach. Christmas day was rainy but it didn’t matter because we spent the day in our apartment watching Lucy slowly open her presents while the three of us ate our weight in delicious food and snacks. It was a simple time. I think that is what we liked most about Hawaii. The simplicity. Here in Michigan, we don’t have the opportunity, very often, to simplify our lives like that. Nor do we want to. We want to spend time with our families and friends. That’s the best part of living here. For that one Christmas though, it was nice to be able to slow down.

We had the opportunity, recently, to have a bunch of friends over for a holiday party. Some friends were in town that we haven’t seen in a long time and it was great to have everyone over and have some kid free fun. Our babysitters have been working overtime lately and for that we are eternally grateful!

Luckily, after Christmas, me and Justin got to run away to Chicago for a few days. It was a nice surprise gift from him that he told me about on my new Kindle! Double awesome gift! It was really sweet. He pulled a bunch of our old LiveJournal entries (I know! LiveJournal! haha) about our first time to Chicago and put them in a journal on the Kindle. It was pretty hilarious to read those again. Thankfully he corrected some spelling and grammatical errors before adding them to the journal. Apparently I did learn something in college! I am the first to admit that I am not perfect when it comes to correct grammar but I’ve come a long way. Not to be a grammar snob… I really hate that.

Chicago was really fun. We ate deep dish pizza and Chicago style hot dogs, visited the Field Museum, shopped, saw a good friend, enjoyed a little quiet time and a lot of sleep. It was wonderful but we definitely missed our munchkins. So we headed home and listened to Serial all the way. That shit is crazy.

This is the end of 2014. The end of a terrible, awful, no good very bad year. It is also the end of a wonderful, inspiring year full of my kids growing and developing, new friendships, house settling and a lot of personal growth that I’m really proud of. That’s hard for people to say, or admit to. That they’re proud of themselves. But I feel that I’ve become a much more confident person over this last year. As someone who spent a great deal of her life being very shy, I really am proud of that.

My personal resolutions for 2015 are as follows:

1) Set an example for my kids of a healthy lifestyle.

2) Go out and do more.

It’s not a lot.  Doesn’t look like much anyway. But it actually is if I do it right. So that’s my goal. To do it right.

It is my hope that 2015 brings health to those in need. Healing to those who suffer. And love to those who need it. Happy New Year everyone!

Mahalo

 

 

 

Staying home…

My kids are beautiful, sweet, wonderful little people….

Where’s the “but” right?

Here it is: BUT sometimes, I just want to run out the door! Don’t get me wrong. I love staying home with my kids 99….errr 89% of the time. I love being a stay at home mom. I mean, what a rare opportunity to be able to be with my kids all day every day. What a blessing.

Here’s another one: BUT it is really taxing to have two little humans be so dependent on you 24/7. Even when Justin is home, they still ask me for everything. Probably just out of habit from doing it the rest of the time. Having a clingy toddler literally hanging from my legs all day is truly exhausting.

As a stay at home mom, I have a little guilt about feeling this way. I mean, I am so lucky! There are lots of people who would love to stay home with their kids all day. BUT there are days when I just can’t hear the word “Mom” one more time. Days when I feel like my head will explode if one more cup is spilled or one more fight erupts. Some days, going back to work sounds like a vacation. Not to say that working parents have it easier.  I have said before how much respect I have for working parents and I don’t think that Justin has it easier by any means. I do envy the time you all have away though. The time that is yours. Yours to do whatever you want. You can go to lunch and eat a meal uninterrupted. You can go take a nap in your car on your break. You can go to the bathroom BY YOURSELF! You can have a complete thought. Oh to have one complete though again… (I realize there is a typo there, but it so perfectly encompassed the message of the sentence, I decided to leave it)

Again, I love staying at home (Notice the repetition here…That’s the guilt talking). It is nice to have some time away though.. Even if it is just for a trip to Target. Alone time is so precious. I feel guilty about that too because when my Husband is home, I want to spend time with him. At the same time though, that is my only opportunity to get alone time.

This is a really tough age. I know that. I also know that once this really tough age is past, they will be at school, I will be back at work and this time at home with them will be a distant memory. I remember when I was in labor with Hudson, I kept saying “I can’t wait until this is just a memory”. I don’t want to wish time away. I want to enjoy these moments that we do have together. Some days are hard. Like, really hard. But, I do love every single day for a least a least a few hours!

The last minute gift

So, if you’re like me, you still have a lot of christmas shopping to do. With under two weeks left until the big day things are getting a little hectic. Christmas parties, birthday parties, holiday activities, and more all fill up our calendar while we still try to maintain the normal to dos. I have found a few cool sites with some ideas and thought I’d share them.

1.) First, Amazon is having a Twelve Days of Christmas countdown. They are offering deals every day in a different category. We have utilized Amazon a lot already and have taken advantage of some crazy cheap pricing.

2.) Second, You could go the homemade route. I really like this list (<– Click that) from 100daysofrealfood.com. She has some great homemade options that are actually very useful such as some homemade seasoning mixes and Vanilla Extract. I never knew that Vanilla extract was made with vodka! Crazy stuff!

3.) Lastly I will post the post that everyone has seen via social media.  The non-toy gift list (<– Click that). While I think that most toys are actually great for a child’s mind and imagination regardless of how educational the box tells you the toy is, these are some great options. My mom got Lucy a class for her birthday last January and I have yet to register her, BUT it’s a great idea to offer children fun experiences rather than material possessions. The very concept of this blog is to find a piece of paradise in your everyday life and this is a great way to do that. Also, I think the girl in the picture, who is on the floor with all the mess, looks exactly like me from that angle. I actually thought it was a picture of me when my husband showed it to me. Creepy.

Hopefully this list helps anyone who is scrounging for gift ideas. Most of the options on these sites could fit any budget but when in doubt, there is always the old standby. A restaurant gift card! 😉

Christmas Magic

Anyone else feel like they are constantly redecorating their Christmas tree? Toddlers are worse than cats (from what I hear) with robbing the tree of it’s lovely decorations! Every time I turn around there is yet another ornament on the floor or I spot Hudson running full speed toward the toilet with one! What is it about little boys and the toilet!?

Other than toilet shenanigans, we have been busy enjoying the holidays. We’ve had our decorations up and Christmas music blasting (Check out the Pentatonix new album, It’s our fav!) since before Thanksgiving but we decided to visit the place where Christmas is exploding from every angle. Frankenmuth!

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Magic

We started our visit with a trip to Bronners, of course! There, we picked out a great personalized Santa ornament with the kid’s names on it. I love it so much! Twelve bucks is a little steep for an ornament (tis the season) but I felt better about it once I saw how great the personalization looked on it.

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Justin insists that Hudson’s name does not belong on this list… 🙁

So after Mr. Bronner (RIP), took advantage of our Christmas spirit and stole our money, we headed to the place where juicy fried chicken is served by the platter and the beer is so authentically German, you can’t read the label.  Bavarian Inn. It was better than I remembered.  I could have eaten a lot more of that chicken. Like a lot more… It was that good.

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This was actually quite delicious. Those Germans know what’s up!

After strolling around the quaint village and admiring the Christmas lights and decorations, we headed home. I always forget how magical that place is this time of year. If you haven’t gone yet this season, definitely go check it out.

Just a word of advise though… Leave the stroller in the car for Bronners! What a mad house! Oh, and get your Santa Sticker as soon as you get there.  It can take a few hours to see him and they call you up to the line by your animal on the name tag they give you.

We also stopped by to see Santa at the Twelve Oaks Mall. If we are being honest, we stopped by to see the Frozen exhibit and Santa was an added bonus.  Lucy’s exact words while running through the fake snow blizzard were: “Mom! I could stay here all day!”. So mission accomplished Twelve Oaks! Way to repurpose your old set up to capitalize on the Elsa Phenomenon! It was a hit!

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They would have stayed in that snow dome ALL day!

Some items that are still on the to do list:

1. Picture with Santa OR just a home staged Christmas photo in the even the kids aren’t feelin’ the Santa pic.

2. Drive around to see all the fun Christmas lights on people’s houses.

3. Watch Christmas Vacation like 100 more times because it’s hilarious and deserves to be seen as much as possible.

4. Make Christmas cookies with Lucy.

5. That’s probably enough! lol BUT we did make a gingerbread village!

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If I were teeny tiny, I would live here..

I think we have already been enjoying this holiday season quite a bit! In the age of Pinterest, if you don’t do absolutely everything Christmas related all while making everything by hand, you are a failure of a mother. As far as normal standards go, though, we are doing alright!

If you want to check out the Pentatonix new Xmas CD, here it is:

Tuesdays with Hudson

Tuesdays and Thursdays are a little crazy over here. I swear there is something in the air on these mornings that makes Lucy want to sleep in later and move more slowly. This usually is not a big deal. We have a very loose structure over here which usually allows for happy mornings and happy kids. School days, though, are a little tricky. So it usually goes like this…

-Wake up Lucy at 8:15

-Wake up Lucy again at 8:30

-Bribe Lucy to come downstairs and eat breakfast because at this point it’s almost 8:45 and we need to be out the door by 9:20 at the latest.

-Feed breakfast

-Remind her to eat breakfast

-Remind her to eat breakfast

-Remind her to eat breakfast

-brush teeth

-Tame her crazy bed head

-Put on outfit she picked out last night (I got smart and now have her choose her outfit the night before so she’s not rushed and stressed about it in the AM)

-Convince her that yes, she does have to go potty.

-Ok you are grabbing your crotch and jumping around. Go Potty!

-Put on shoes and finally get out the door.

It’s always a production! She is so funny because she finds the strangest things interesting enough to stop and admire or play with. Isn’t that the coolest part of childhood though? It can be frustrating and sometimes that frustration gets the best of me but I try to remember how awesome it is that she still sees the beauty in those things that seem so insignificant to me as an adult.

Once she is at school, I get a few hours of just Hudson. This kid is a nut case! This is what is happening right now:

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Yes, that is cereal all over the floor… Total. Nutcase.

It’s nice to have time with just him though. So I’m going to go get back to that.

Happy Tuesday!

Still stuffed!

Oh boy! Hosting a holiday is hard work!

Let's hope this tastes good!
Let’s hope this tastes good!
Our little Pilgrim.
Our little Pilgrim.

We just hosted Thanksgiving for the first time over here at the Day house. That means it was my first solo turkey… Boy brining is fun! haha No. No it’s not fun for a 22 pound turkey BUT it did make a nice moist turkey. Just a little pointer to anyone out there looking to brine their turkey next year or next week for those of you taking advantage of the half off turkey deals… A brined turkey cooks a hell of a lot faster than a non brined turkey. My 22 pound turkey cooked in 3 1/2 hours.. It was supposed to take 5. Thank GOD for tin foil and it’s wondrous ability to hold in heat!

I think dinner turned out well!  I really am thankful that we were able to have our families over to our house.  With all the twists life has thrown at us this year, it felt good to do something different.

The kids using the coffee table as their stage.
The kids using the coffee table as their stage.
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Sh*t! I’m late to the sales!

Is it just me or did anyone else start panicking when they woke up and checked their email/ got the paper? The way the ads were phrased in my inbox made it feel like I was running late to shop! I really hate that stores are open on Thanksgiving but at the same time, it is retail and stores are only going to do what they know will make them money. Customers shop on Thanksgiving. I don’t like it because it ruined the tradition of the Stott Trot. We used to go out super early in the morning on Black Friday to get the good deals (They used to actually have good deals back then). Now that things start on Thanksgiving, I can’t do it! No offense to anyone who did go out. Our dinner just lasts into the late evening and by the time dinner is over, I’m just too tired to go out.

Oh well, Amazon will deliver gifts to my door instead! Way easier! Did any of you go out yesterday? Get any great deals?